Review of Cathay Dragon flight Hong Kong Penang in Business

Airline Cathay Dragon
Flight KA633
Class Business
Seat 16K
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 03:35
Take-off 22 Aug 15, 08:15
Arrival at 22 Aug 15, 11:50
KA   #8 out of 120 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 50 reviews
rbix
By 846
Published on 7th June 2018
Hi everyone! Welcome to the flight you've all been waiting for! In this report, I will be covering the flight from Hong Kong to Penang. After my family had decided that Penang would be the final destination in terms of where we'd go for a quick getaway, we got all the flight and hotel bookings in an instant! I have to admit, I was excited to escape the city life and trade it in for a week at a resort. Also, this was my first trip to Malaysia, so I was really looking forward to going somewhere new. In any case, I hope you guys enjoy reading this report!

Summer 2015 Trip Report Index:
1) 27 Jun 2015: CX899 EWR-HKG, B777-300ER, Business
2) 22 Aug 2015: KA633 HKG-PEN, A330-300, Business
3) 28 Aug 2015: KA692 PEN-HKG, A330-300, Business
4) 31 Aug 2015: CX701 HKG-BKK, A330-300, Business
5) 1 Sep 2015: CX616 BKK-HKG, B777-300, Business
6) 1 Sep 2015: CX840 HKG-JFK, B777-300ER, Business

Pre-flight:
To sum things up quickly, I'm not a huge fan of early morning flights!! It all started with me getting up at 5:30 in the morning on Saturday in August. I was still on holiday mode and I very much liked to sleep in. Since I live about 50 minutes to an hour away from the airport, I only had half an hour to get ready as we had arranged for a private SUV that would pick us up at 6:00 AM. However, I didn't think of it to be that bad since I could sleep during the ride to the airport, which I did. I woke up a little groggy, but that didn't stop me from trip reporting! ;)
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HKG Check-in area


KA check-in desks. It took five minutes for the whole process, from then I proceeded to security and immigration, which I easily breezed through.


Post-security
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Early morning departures
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My flight was departing from gate 41 this morning, and I decided to head to The Bridge once again since it was the only lounge that was closest to the gate. In most cases, I would use the automated people mover in order to make the distance easier, but this time I walked the whole way as I thought I'd get something from Starbucks located near gate 21. However, I got a glimpse of the line and it was massive! I eventually changed my mind and thought it would be better if I would meet my parents at The Bridge since they were there already, and get some breakfast over there.


HKG Departure area
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Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER B-KQH, serving as CX548 to HND
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Reaching the end of the mid-concourse
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The plane flying us to PEN: B-LAB, an Airbus A330-300 which was previously a part of CX's fleet before being transferred to KA
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The Bridge entrance. I'm going to keep the lounge review short since I've already talked about it on my trip report from Hong Kong to Mumbai (Link can be found here: https://flight-report.com/en/report/23426/Cathay-Pacific-CX685-Hong-Kong-HKG-Mumbai-BOM).
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Shots of The Bridge


Boarding pass
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We were at the lounge for about 20 minutes before we were on our way to the gate, which was not a long walk from the lounge.
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Gate area
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Time for a break!!
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Heading down the aerobridge
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Some flight background information before I board:
Date: 22 August 2015
Airline: Dragonair
Flight Number: KA 633
Route: Hong Kong (HKG) - Penang (PEN)
Aircraft: Airbus A330-300
Registration: B-LAB
Distance: 1491 miles
Scheduled Departure Time: 8:15 AM
Actual Departure Time: 8:46 AM
Scheduled Arrival Time: 11:50 AM
Actual Arrival Time: 11:49 AM
Flight Time: 3 hrs 35 mins
Departure Gate at HKG: 41
Arrival Gate at PEN: A4A

Flight:

Main business class cabin, which you'd normally expect from CX's regional business class
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My seat for today: 16K
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I found the legroom to be a bit cramped, but not bad for a 3 hour flight.
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View from my seat, right next to a Cathay Pacific Airbus A340-300 B-HXC, which would fly to MNL this morning as CX901
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Flight route
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From what I can remember, the business class cabin had a relatively light load with approximately 15 passengers onboard. I wasn't so sure about the load in Y though.
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Menu for today's flight
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It didn't take that long for boarding to be completed, and after the routine tasks such as the captain's pre-flight announcement as well as the safety video, we started the pushback at 8:27 AM

CX aircraft everywhere!!!
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View of the terminal after pushback, giving me the opportunity to spot an Air New Zealand Boeing 777-200ER, ZK-OKF which arrived from AKL as NZ87 along with an Air India Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner, VT-ANK which arrived from BOM via DEL as AI310 and would continue on to ICN later on.
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A little sneak peek of the new midfield concourse which will be open in 2016, with Hong Kong Express Airbus A320-200 B-LCF infront
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Aircraft hangars
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Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER B-KPO
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The next thing I knew was the usual takeoff sound from the Airbus A330-300, from then on we lifted off from Runway 07R by 8:45 AM, heading down south towards PEN
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Afterwards, I decided to check out the inflight entertainment system, studioKA (which is pretty much the doppelgänger of StudioCX)
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I was finally able to watch The Big Bang Theory Season 8 on this flight!!!
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The breakfast service on this flight began very quickly as far as I can remember from three years ago. Anyways, here is the table setup with fruit as a starter along with orange juice and pineapple yogurt
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Main course - which was the stir-fried udon with prawn cake and squid Chinese dim sum. From what I can remember, it was one of the worst meals I've ever had on an airplane. For starters, it did not look appetising at all, and the udon was so bland that I stopped after a few bites.
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In order to make up for the terrible main course, I watched a couple more episodes of The Big Bang Theory, right after I explore the flight map and ask for a cup of coffee
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Cruising over the South China Sea
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A quick trip up to the lavatory, which is just the standard bathroom on an Airbus A330-300
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One thing that I somehow find unique about the regional business class cabin
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Cabin view
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At that point of the flight, I was feeling extremely tired that I decided to just put on my music and reclined my seat until we were ready to land
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I took a nap for about an hour until the captain came back to announce that we are starting the descent into Penang and as always, we would have approximately 30 minutes before landing

Upon checking the map for the second time, it turned out that we were already in Malaysia
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It wasn't long until the cabin started to prepare for landing, upon which I was able to get the first sights of Penang
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We landed right on time to beautiful weather in Penang!
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Actual flight route
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Docking at gate A4A
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Disembarking/Arrival into PEN


Post-flight:
The airport was recently renovated, and was completed in 2013. IMO, I would definitely say that it's a decent sized terminal.
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Baggage claim area. It took us 2 minutes to claim our bags.
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Arrival area in PEN
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Afterwards, we found our ride which would take us to our hotel and then get ready for a week of relaxation!!
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Verdict

Cathay Dragon

8.1/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment10.0
Meal/catering5.5

Cathay Pacific - The Bridge Lounge

9.6/10
Comfort10.0
Meal/catering9.5
Entertainment10.0
Services9.0

Hong Kong - HKG

9.6/10
Efficiency10.0
Access9.0
Services9.5
Cleanliness10.0

Penang - PEN

9.0/10
Efficiency9.5
Access8.5
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

Overall, this was a good flight with a regional airline such as Dragonair. Although there were some parts of this flight which I felt were a hit-and-miss. For instance, the service provided by the cabin crew was average, and the meal was definitely a huge letdown. However, the seat and the entertainment were the only things that were exceptional, even if it was just for a 3 hour, early morning flight. In any case, thanks for reading this report!! Hope you enjoyed it! Stay tuned for the return trip to Hong Kong coming up soon!

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2 Comments

  • Comment 449390 by
    KévinDC TEAM 4220 Comments

    Hi Rbix, thanks for sharing another well photographed and well-written report! It is interesting to note the differences between mainline CX and KA in Regional J, though I understand this flight was a few years ago. It would be interesting to see if the catering has now improved as the product has been more aligned with CX since the Cathay Dragon rebranding. Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 449419 by
      rbix AUTHOR 18 Comments

      Thanks for the comment!!! I haven't traveled with KA since the re-brand to Cathay Dragon, but I'm pretty certain that the catering has improved over the years ever since they became more affiliated with CX (i.e. new seats, IFE, etc). Now that I think about it, I would say that their catering as of 2018 has improved. I just hope I can try that out once I get the chance to fly with KA again. Happy travels!! :)

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